MAHARERA provided a major relief to the home buyer, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority ordered a developer to refund the amount of Rs 1 lakh which was paid by the buyer as a booking amount.
The RERA complaints bench worked on a complaint from home buyer for non-payment of booking amount by the developer and mentioned that the developer is liable to pay the refund as there was no any written agreement signed between the both parties. The complainant Sanjiv Gill had booked a studio flat in ‘UK Iridium’ at Kandivali east. The complainant booked a flat with ‘Damodar Suruchi Developers’ on May 28, 2017 after payment of Rs 1lakh. Sanjiv Gill Says, “I sent an e-mail to the developer for the refund of booking due to some unavoidable reasons after four months of booking date and the developer didn’t reply to the email and that’s why we requested to the authority to direct the developer for payment of refunds”.
During the hearing, the lawyer of the developer Ashish Venugopal disputed the claim of buyer by mentioning that the complaint is not maintainable as there is no provision under RERA act for refund of booking amount.
Lawyer said, “the case is not valid as complainant is not an allottee as per the definition of the sec 2(b) of the RERA act and there was not any sale of agreement between both of the parties. The developer is not at default as complainant cancelled the booking due to his personal reasons”. The lawyer of the developer requested the authority to dismiss the case as it is invalid.
But, the RERA bench further observed the rival submissions by the developer and mentioned that developer accepted the booking when it was not registered with RERA. A developer can only accept booking only when they are registered with MAHARERA.
In the case, the developer registered the project with MAHARERA on Aug 17, 2017 but it accepted booking on May 28, 2017, this clearly portrays that the action of the booking of the flat is void ab initio. The bench further stated that complainant booked the flat after commencement of RERA act, 2016. The order stated, “No person should sell or book the project without registration of the same in the RERA”.
As per the clause 18 of the form of agreement in Maharashtra Real Estate, Rules 2017 stated that the entire money paid by the allottees has to be returned without any interest if parties fail to sign the agreement.
Hence, the developer was directed to refund the complete amount of Rs 1lakh within a month and bench also penalized the developer for violation of Sec 3 of the RERA act.